Richthofen's major work on China
By RICHTHOFEN, Ferdinand Freiherrn von. , 1877


Travel & Voyages
  • Author: RICHTHOFEN, Ferdinand Freiherrn von.
  • Publication place: Berlin
  • Publisher: Dietrich Reimer
  • Publication date: 1877-1911-[1912]
  • Physical description: First edition, 7 volumes, comprising 5 volumes text, 4to (282 by 200mm) and 2 volumes atlas, large oblong folio (455 by 560mm), numerous plates and maps in text volumes, illustrations, atlases with 54 coloured maps, original pictorial cloth (the atlases backed with morocco), atlas bindings slightly soiled, one of which with new spine, the other with spine repaired
  • Inventory reference: 11567


A fine copy of a rare work. Because the publication project spanned thirty-five years, complete sets are very rare and we have been unable to trace any at auction.
These monumental volumes are the fruit of Richthofen’s seven celebrated journeys throughout China in 1868-72. The first volume is the introduction, the second volume covers Northern China, the third, Southern China. The fourth and fifth volumes are devoted to paleontology and conclusions. The works encompass Richthofen’s geographical, geological, economic, and ethnological findings.
Richthofen coined the term “Silk Road” (Seidenstrasse), referring to the route by which silk came from China to ancient Rome, in the first volume of this work in the chapter on “Trade Routes in Tarim Basin in the 1st-2nd Centuries.”


Deutsch-Asiatische bank, stamp on title in 2 volumes

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